Cyber Monday 2022 has started at Amazon – see all this weekend’s best deals

Latest Cyber Monday news

An assortment of prodcuts on a yellow background with Cyber Monday text

(Image credit: Future)

* Amazon launches official Cyber Monday sale
* Thousands of carry-over deals from Black Friday
* New promotions expected

Cyber Monday is just around the corner now and there are already thousands of deals to check out this weekend. As the dust starts to settle on Black Friday we're starting to pick up our coverage early with a live blog of news, tips, and of course tons of deals recommendations.

So far, Best Buy and Walmart are yet to officially label their deals 'Cyber Monday', but Amazon has already made the switch. It won't come as a surprise that most of the deals that have been listed over the past few days are rolling on through into this weekend, give or take a few exceptions that have sold out. 

Will there be any fresh promotions? If the last few Cyber Mondays are anything to judge by then we could be in store for a few surprises. Sit tight for any highlights as we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for any diamonds in the rough.

So far, we've seen some fantastic discounts on everything from big-screen TVs to mattresses, and we'll of course be posting our favorites shortly. Need a quick overview of what's available this weekend? Check our quick links section at the top of the page. Looking for a full run-down of everything at once? Head on over to our main Cyber Monday deals hub page.

Early Cyber Monday deals this weekend

TechRadar deals editors Alex Whitelock and James Pickard are running our Cyber Monday deals live blog this morning. But you'll find tips, tricks, and expert product insight here from the whole TechRadar team to help you grab the gear and gadgets you want at the lowest possible price. 

We're busy searching all the top retailers for discounts on the top-performing tech, home, fitness and wellness products that have made it through our tough testing process. Sometimes we'll surface great deals here on interesting items that we haven't tested, too (we'll tell you when we haven't used a product ourselves.) And if we can find a better offer on the same product at another retailer, we'll share that as well. 

A collage of Apple, Samsung, Dyson, Sony, and Nintendo products on a blue background with a Cyber Monday deals banner

Good morning all! We're kicking off our Cyber Monday deals coverage for 2022 a little earlier this year, giving plenty of time to find any highlights - and post a couple of our favorite holdouts from yesterday's sale. 

sony wf-1000xm4

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Get Sony's five-star earbuds for the lowest price ever

The excellent Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless earbuds are on sale at Amazon as part of the retailer's early Cyber Monday sale - for the lowest price we've ever seen.

We awarded these top-tier, class-A Sony buds the full five stars in our Sony WF-1000XM4 review. They deliver stunning sound quality, strong active noise cancellation and a solid eight hours of battery life. 

If you’re looking for a deal on some of the best noise-cancelling earbuds ahead of Cyber Monday, then we don't expect this price to be beaten on the day itself. Snatch them up while you can.

Sony WF-1000XM4: was $279.99 now $178 at Amazon
Cyber Monday offers like this don't come along very often. We briefly saw them dip to $198, but this is a whole $20 cheaper than we've ever seen them. Sony's immersive LDAC, excellent ANC, eight hours of battery life from just the earbuds and stunning five-star sound quality all for $100 off the RRP? We'll take it. View Deal

A Rose Gold MacBook Air keyboard against a butterscotch background with a TechRadar Don't Miss badge

(Image credit: Future)

This weekend is a great time to buy a MacBook

Allisa James, Computing Staff Writer, TechRadar

If you're in the market for a MacBook Air, you're in luck: the 13-inch M1 model from 2022 plummeted in price to just $799 a few days ago and it's still looking like this amazing $200 deal is sticking around for Cyber Monday. For the record, this is the lowest price yet on this fantastic ultrabook.

Even though the 2020 model has been superseded by the more powerful (and more expensive) new MacBook Air M2 (2022), it still sits at number three in our best laptops guide. 

We gave it 4.5/5 stars in our Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review: its performance is incredible thanks to the powerful M1 chip, and the battery life is excellent. It's easily the best value laptop money can buy right now, and a great choice for work or school. It's also great for watching movies.

Read more: M1 MacBook Air returns to record-low price

MacBook Air M1 (256GB): was $999 now $799 at Amazon
We very rarely see the MacBook Air this low so now is the time to buy if you're interested in the excellent Apple laptop. It equals the record-low we've seen in previous years. This top-of-the-line device features Apple's powerful M1 chip and premium chassis – and sits as TechRadar's best value-for-money pick in our best laptop guide.View Deal

Nintendo Switch OLED black Friday savings

(Image credit: Future)

Super-low Nintendo Switch OLED bundle alert - but not at Amazon

Julian Benson, Editor in Chief, TechRadar Gaming

This one isn't in the Amazon Cyber Monday sale, but we think it's too good to miss...

If you have a Nintendo Switch already and know you mostly play in handheld mode, or you think that's how you'll use it if you buy one, the Nintendo Switch OLED is an upgrade that's well worth considering. Its larger, brighter screen is a marked improvement over the original Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. 

The console itself is going for the historic low price of $349 at Amazon, but this bundle deal at Dell is excellent value if you're looking to set yourself up with some games and accessories. For $399.99 you can get the console, a third-party Switchplate controller and a copy of Splatoon 3 - one of the best first-party games on the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch OLED + Splatoon 3 + controller: was $439.99 now $399.99 at Dell
Save $40 - This is an excellent deal for the flagship Nintendo console. Considering the bonuses of Splatoon 3 and a Switch plate controller, you don't want to miss this discount. View Deal

Today's sales - where do they stand?

Alex Whitelock, deals editor, TechRadar

We're in the awkward period right now between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with some retailers - notably Amazon - having already switched their headline banners over to the latter sale. Basically, the vast majority of deals that are available today are holdouts from the earlier sale, which is generally what we expect these days.

Over the past few years, we've seen these big seasonal one-day sales transform into a kind of 'deals season', so generally speaking, there are a lot of similar promotions going on. That's not to say the deals are bad, however, most of the listings we've found are still at their lowest prices all year - or at least matching their lowest prices. 

Take the MacBook Air M1 we just posted below as an example, which is currently $799 at Amazon. This model is generally found at prices ranging from $899 to $929 at Amazon, and it's been on sale for $799 a couple of times in the last month. Those holding out for a 'record-breaking' price may be disappointed with this one but it's still a very strong deal overall.

5 popular deals at Amazon yesterday - that you can still get now

Following on from my previous post - Amazon's Cyber Monday deals are...very similar to its Black Friday deals. That's to be expected though: most retailers will be rolling their existing deals into their Cyber weekend sales over the next few days.

These five deals are all ones we either first noticed yesterday or during the week before. But they're all great value, so they're definitely worth checking out.

Toloco Massage Gun: was $259.99 now $69.99 at Amazon
This top-rated massage gun has a massive 73% discount in Amazon's Cyber Monday sale: it's down to $65.57 from $259.99. The Toloco massage gun features 20 different speed levels and 15 replaceable massage heads to relieve pain on all parts of your body and has over 31,000 positive reviews on Amazon. It's one of the most popular deals from Friday.View Deal

National Tree Company Pre-Lit 6.5-feet Christmas Tree: was $399.99 now $214.99 at Amazon
If you haven't picked out your Christmas Tree this year, Amazon's Cyber Monday sale is offering a massive $184.20 discount on this 6.5-foot artificial tree. The top-rated Dunhill Fir Full is pre-lit with 650 white lights that remain lit even when a bulb goes out. Plus, if you use ALEXATREE at checkout, you get a free Amazon smart plug and Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) with your purchase (just make sure all the items are in your cart).View Deal

Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer/Brush: was $69.99 now $25.24 at Amazon
Another hot item from the last few days - Amazon has the best-selling Revlon One-Step hair dryer on sale for a record-low price of $25.24. Thanks to the unique oval brush design, the hairdryer delivers a salon-like blowout with brilliant shine and extra volume.View Deal

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation): was $249 now $199.99 at Amazon
This one's worth paying attention to as well: Apple's best-selling AirPods Pro 2 are still on sale for $199.99 - a new record-low price. Apple's all-new earbuds include improved audio quality and noise cancellation and include a wireless charging case that provides more than 24 hours of battery life. View Deal

Oculus Quest 2 (128 GB) Black Friday bundle: was $469.99 now $349.99 at Amazon
If you've been after an Oculus Quest 2, this is the perfect time to pick one up. In our four-and-a-half-star review we commended the Quest 2's solid specs and easy-to-use nature, plus there are some great games on the platform (which this bundle includes two of: Beat Saber and Resident Evil 4 VR).View Deal

Amazon Fire TV old scren UI TV on table

(Image credit: Amazon)

Is the cheapest TV on Amazon worth buying?

Amazon's Cyber Monday TV deals seem to get cheaper and cheaper every year, so much so that, incredibly, you can now buy a smart display for under $100. It's true that at this price you tend to see the real budget models or own-brand displays, but we're always surprised by how cheap the retailer offers them over Cyber Monday.

Take this one, for example:

Insignia 24-inch F20 Series HD Smart Fire TV (2022): $89.99 $79.99 at Amazon
This 24-inch Insignia set is on sale for a record-low price of just $79.99, and it's the cheapest Cyber Monday TV deal we've spotted so far. While the Insignia F20-Series display lacks 4K capabilities, the HD TV does include smart features with the Fire operating system and hands-free control with Amazon Alexa. You can also get a larger 32-inch model for just $99 right now.View Deal

We haven't reviewed it here at TechRadar, but we can give you our honest opinion, based on the fact that we review dozens of TVs every year.

So, yeah, it's 24 inches, which is tiny in comparison to most common TV sizes today (it's more like a computer monitor). That said, it has got some surprisingly good features for the money. 

The biggest positive of this display is that it has Amazon Fire TV built right in, so you don't have to pair it up with a Fire TV Stick or equivalent to get full access to all the best streaming services or compatibility with Echo devices. It'll basically work right out of the box and get you streaming Amazon Video or Netflix in no time - and it's small enough to fit on nearly any desk or tabletop. 

What we don't like is the 720p resolution. For a display in 2022 - even one that's 24 inches - that's lacklustre. The 32-inch version for $99 features this same 720p resolution, too, which will look even worse on a slightly bigger screen size. 

Based on that, if you can afford it, we'd recommend opting for a slightly bigger display like this one.

Amazon Fire TV 43-inch 4-Series 4K smart TV: $369.99 $209.99 at Amazon
Get the all-new Amazon 43-inch Fire TV on sale for just $209.99 - the cheapest price we've ever seen. This budget Cyber Monday TV deal includes the Fire TV experience for easy streaming and includes a handy voice remote so you can control your TV completely hands-free.View Deal

This 43-inch Amazon-branded display has the same handy Fire-TV smart features as the cheapo Insignia but has a much, much improved 4K resolution. It also supports HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Digital Plus for an improved picture quality overall.

Should you buy the MacBook Air M1 (2020) - or the newer M2 (2022)?

Matt Hanson, Managing Editor, Core Tech, TechRadar 

The 13-inch MacBook Air (M1, 2020) has returned to its lowest-ever price. There's no question that it's incredible value for money, but it's no longer the newest model. So: should you buy the newer and more powerful MacBook Air (M2, 2022), or the better-value and still excellent MacBook Air (M1, 2020)?

It's a tricky choice, which is a testament to just how good the older laptop is.

The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) brings some big changes, both inside, with the new M2 chip, and on the outside, with a radical redesign. If you want a modern experience and upgraded performance, it's the way to go. The new design is great, it’s more portable, and the screen is a big step up. The M2 could also prove to be a big upgrade.

However, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is a lot cheaper, which makes it incredibly tempting. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a laptop, choose this one, as it offers excellent value for money, while also being a great all-around performer. And that's true even more so today, now that the MacBook Air M1 is down to its lowest price ever at Amazon.

Read more: MacBook Air (M2, 2022) vs MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

More cheap deals - under $25

So far we've mostly rounded up pricey buys on tech, but it's well worth checking out Amazon's excellent 'under $25' Cyber Monday section if you're still on the hunt for some gifts this holiday season.

Under $25 at Amazon: toys, tech, kitchen gadgets, gifts ideas, and more
If you're looking to spend no more than $25, Amazon has a wide range of cheap products, including toys, tech gadgets, kitchen tools, clothing, beauty, and more. It's a great place to look if you need a fun secret Santa gift or stocking stuffers for the whole family. View Deal

Marshall Major IV wireless headphones on gray background

(Image credit: Marshall)

These earbuds are a bit rock n roll 

Becky Scarrott, Senior Audio Staff Writer, TechRadar

Wouldn't life be boring if every ear you saw had an ice-white Apple stem hanging out of it? 

Maybe you want the portable, wire-free music experience but you don't want to follow the herd. Maybe you prefer a slightly more vintage aesthetic – albeit one benefitting from all of the latest wireless Bluetooth technology. 

We get it. Marshall (or, to give the company its full moniker, Marshall Amplification) does too, for it is a gloriously rock-steady UK audio outfit founded in 1962 by Jim Marshall. 

Every Marshall product somehow looks like a guitar amp, even when it's a set of tiny earbuds. And that is what we have here, as well as a stunning pair of wireless on-ears, both discounted for Black Friday and both as cheap as we've ever seen them. 

Marshall Minor III earbuds: was $129.99 now $99.99 at Amazon
They're back down to their lowest-seen price! If you want an AirPods-y design but more beautiful than AirPods (just look at that rubberised snake-skin effect case!) you might have just found them. We haven't reviewed this particular set of true wireless buds from Marshall, but you're getting 12mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.2, a 25-hour total battery life and on-ear touch controls – all of which are bang on for this money. No ANC, but for this price we don't mind. View Deal

Marshall Major IV wireless headphones: was $149.99 now $99.99 at Amazon
Not a model we've tested, but they launched in October 2020 boasting an incredible (incredible!) 80-hour wireless battery life and we absolutely love the styling. And in case you're worried (given the retro aesthetic), no, they do charge via USB-C, and you also get a 3.5mm cable in the box. No ANC, but you do get Marshall's iconic gold-tone multi-directional knob for all on-ear playback and volume controls. Road trip coming up in the new year? This is the lowest we've seen them and, we think, a very tempting proposition.View Deal

Black Friday Braun deal

The Apple TV 4K (Image credit: Future / Braun)

Get a fresh cut for a cut price

Axel Metz, Staff Writer, TechRadar

Amazon's excellent Braun Series 9 Pro deal has rolled over from Black Friday into Cyber Monday, meaning you can still pick up the German brand's best-ever electric shaver for the handsome price of $259 (down from $330). That's 21% less than usual, and just $10 shy of being Amazon's best-ever price.

I'm in the process of reviewing the Series 9 Pro for TechRadar's best electric razors and beard trimmers guide, and honestly, my biggest gripe so far concerns its typically astronomical retail price. Black Friday weekend, though, has made that figure much, much more reasonable, meaning the Series 9 Pro is an easier recommendation than ever right now. If you're keen to upgrade your shaving game in 2022, now is absolutely the time to do so. 

Braun Series 9 Pro Electric Shaver with SmartCare Cleaning Center: was $329.99 now $260 at Amazon
You can pick up the black or silver version of the Series 9 Pro for 21% less at Amazon in the US right now. For $260, you'll get Braun's best-in-class shaver, a 5-in-1 cleaning centre and a travel charge case. The German brand claims that the Series 9 Pro will last you seven years – what's $260 for almost a decade's worth of use?View Deal

5 cracking Keurig coffee maker deals

Almost all of Amazon's Black Friday Keurig coffee maker deals have been repackaged as Cyber Monday deals for the weekend, meaning you can still bag best-selling models including the K-Mini, K- Slim, K-Classic, K-Supreme and K-Elite for exceptionally low prices. 

We don't anticipate seeing any of the below deals improving as we approach Cyber Monday proper, so our advice is to act now if you're keen to upgrade your coffee-making hardware to one of Keurig's popular machines.  

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker: was $100 now $49.99 at Amazon
Like the Keurig K-Slim, the K-Mini coffee maker is designed for those with limited space (or a smaller budget). It's less than five inches wide, so can easily fit on small counter tops, and can still brew any cup size between 6 to 12 ounces. However, unlike the Slim, the K-Mini only features a one-cup reservoir, so you'll need to add water for each brew. $50 is just $2 shy of Amazon's lowest-ever price.View Deal

Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker: was $130 now $79.99 at Amazon
If space is an issue on your kitchen top, consider Keurig's K-Slim machine. It's a lot thinner than your average coffee maker, but can still serve up to 12 oz of liquid at a time. It's a great choice if you want something practical but with a small footprint. Keurig itself dropped the K- Slim down to $75 last Black Friday, so this $80 deal at Amazon is almost as good.View Deal

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker: was $150 now $99.99 at Amazon
The perfect all-around coffee maker for a family kitchen, the Keurig K-Classic is a great option if you're looking for something with a large reservoir and quick brew time, but don't want to completely break the bank. Amazon knocked $50 off its list price last Black Friday, but has had the K-Classic as low as $45 in years prior. For our money, though, under $100 for this model is still a stellar deal. View Deal

Keurig K-Supreme Coffee Maker: was $160 now $99.99 at Amazon
Keurig's K-Supreme coffee maker is 38% off at Amazon right now, which is just $20 shy of its lowest-ever price. This model boasts the brand's MultiStream brewing technology to better saturate coffee grounds, and its 66 oz reservoir can be positioned on either side of the machine. The only difference between the K-Supreme and its Plus sibling– which is also on sale at Amazon – is that the latter gets programmable brew strength and temperature settings.View Deal

Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker: was $190 now $119.99 at Amazon
Fan of iced coffees? The K-Elite can handle those. It's also capable of producing hot water on-demand should you need it – making the K-Elite perfect for oatmeal or tea. This model features QuietBrew technology to reduce noise, as well as notifications for descaling. $120 is just $20 short of Amazon's lowest-ever price, which came back in July, and we don't anticipate seeing this deal get much better.View Deal

Person using the Dyson Cyclone V10

(Image credit: Dyson)

This Amazon deal definitely isn't collecting dust

On the subject of home appliances, Amazon's Black Friday Dyson vacuum deals have also remained active for the weekend, with many now labelled as dedicated Cyber Monday deals. The excellent Dyson Cyclone V10, for instance, is still available for 23% less than its usual retail price (now $538 from $699.99)

This one-time best-in-class cordless vacuum is selling fast, mind you – at the time of writing, Amazon only has 20 models left in stock. Go, go, go!

Dyson Cyclone V10: was $699.99 now $538 at Amazon
This big, copper-colored cleaning machine may have gotten a bigger sale this time last year, but Amazon's current £140 discount is still more-than-reasonable. The Cyclone is worth considering for its cleaning ability, relatively long battery life and multiple attachments – it earned an excellent 4.5 stars in our reviewView Deal

illustrated face holding an Oculus Quest 2

(Image credit: Future)

Is this Amazon Oculus Quest bundle any good?

Obviously not every Cyber Monday deal is quite as good as it first looks, so we can forgive anyone who looks at this Oculus Quest 2 bundle deal with a degree of cynicism. But in this case, we think it's a genuinely great offer.

For starters, Meta increased the price of the Quest 2 by $399 just a few months. That was a massive jump from of $100 from its previous price of $299, so a 33% rise. 

A $50 saving over the newly increased price is certainly worth having, but where this deal really earns its corn is in the fact that it also come with two games. So, not only are you getting one of the best VR headsets, but those bundled games take the overall value way up. Overall, it more than makes up for the price rise.

Both games are pretty good, too; Beat Saber takes the rhythm game in a fun and exciting new direction, while Resident Evil 4 VR is a seminal survival horror game. 

Read more: Meta's best-ever Oculus Quest 2 deal is finally live

Oculus Quest 2 (128 GB) Bundle: was $469.99 now $349.99 at Amazon
If you've been after an Oculus Quest 2, this is the perfect time to pick one up. In our four-and-a-half-star review we commended the Quest 2's solid specs and easy-to-use nature. Plus, there are some great games on the platform and this bundle includes two of them: Beat Saber and Resident Evil 4 VR.View Deal

Should you buy the Kobo Libra 2 or Amazon Kindle Paperwhite?

Choosing the best ereader isn't easy. Do you go for the market leader, Amazon’s Kindle, and if so, what’s the best Kindle? Or do you try a different brand, like Kobo (which has also been around a long time, since 2010)? 

Both are at their lowest price ever today in the Amazon Black Friday sale. Both have front lights, both are waterproof and both have a ‘dark mode’. 

However, the Libra 2 is good value with no confusing options, more storage by default and a better ergonomic design. It’s also got a very slightly larger display. we gave it a full five stars in our Kobo Libra 2 review.

The Paperwhite, meanwhile, costs more and lacks page-turn buttons, but it has a glass front and a faster processor. And if you go for the more expensive Paperwhite Signature Edition ($129 down from $189.99 at Amazon) you’ll also get wireless charging and an auto-adjusting display. We gave it 4.5/5 in our review.

For us, the winner is the Kobo Libra 2. Newer models from other brands have arrived since its launch, but it's a a fantastic all-around champion that still holds strong to its place as our #1 choice of ereader.

Read more: Kobo Libra 2 vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

A seriously big discount on a great laptop

No, this one's not an Amazon deal - but we still wanted to mention it.

Lenovo knows a thing or two about making productivity laptops and we're big fans of its Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon series. The latest Gen 10 model is a stellar professional laptop for Windows fans - and even better, it's $1,289 down from $2,879 on Lenovo's website. 

Bonus: it's available in a variety of configurations, all heavily discounted, with the biggest reduction on the high-end $4,169 model, which has had a staggering $2,255.43 slashed off the retail price to bring it down to $1,913.57.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10: was $2,879 now $1,289 at Lenovo
You can save a whopping $1,590 on this premium productivity laptop this Cyber Monday weekend. The Gen 10 version of Lenovo's ever-popular ThinkPad X1 Carbon series packs an ultrafast 12th-gen Intel Core processor along with 16GB of RAM and a bright, colorful display with a 16:10 aspect ratio - perfect for fitting more on your screen when browsing the web.View Deal

3 of the best air fryer deals

Air fryers were (once again) in great demand over Black Friday, and we're pretty sure Cyber Monday will see plenty of great discounts.

In fact, there are still lots of deals available on products from the likes of Ninja and Instant. Here are three of our favorites. 

Proscenic T21 Air Fryer: was $129.99, now $79 at Amazon
When we reviewed the Proscenic T21, we appreciated the fact that we could use an app on our smartphone to control it. It helps that it's easy to clean as well. So, if you’re in the market for an air fryer that’s especially easy to use, you’ll be please to know that the T21 is discounted $50 for its lowest price ever of $79.View Deal

Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer Oven: was $169.99, now $99.95 at Amazon
This air fryer has had the biggest Black Friday Instant Pot deal ever on Amazon, dropping $70 in price, which is over 40% off the sticker price. That’s a great deal for this 4.5 out of 5-rated air fryer which comes with a display window, six different functions, and Instant’s EvenCrisp technology for even cooking. The deal is still live ahead of Cyber Monday.View Deal

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer: was $129.99 now $99.95 at Amazon
Amazon has this best-selling Ninja model on sale for $89, giving you a nice 23% discount. The four-quart air fryer has over 39,000 positive reviews on Amazon and can not only air fry but crisp, roast, reheat, and dehydrates food for quick and easy meals.View Deal

Amazon device deals are still live

Amazon always cuts the price of its own devices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and this year's deals are pretty good. 

Both the 3rd and 5th Gen Echo Dots are down to record lows (admittedly the 5th Gen only released fairly recently), ditto for the Fire TV Stick Lite and 4K, and likewise for several Fire tablets, Kindles and Ring doorbells. We've included our nine favorites below.

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Smart Speaker: was $49.99 now $14.99 at Amazon
This early black Friday deal from Amazon slashes the best-selling Echo Dot to just $14.99 - the lowest price we've ever seen. The best-selling smart speaker can play music, answer questions, check the weather and control your new smart bulb - all for under $15.View Deal

Echo Dot (5th generation): was $49.99 now $24.99 at Amazon
Amazon's latest Echo Dot is on sale for $24.99 for Black Friday - a massive 50% discount, and the first price cut the smart home speaker has received. With Amazon Alexa on board, the Amazon Echo Dot allows you to control your smart home setup, play music or podcasts, or simply ask for the forecast.View Deal

Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote: was $29.99 now $14.99 at Amazon
A great stocking stuffer idea, Amazon has the all-new Fire TV Stick Lite on sale for just $14.99 - the lowest price we've ever seen. The budget streaming player allows you to enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills and features an Alexa voice remote.View Deal

Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote: was $49.99 now $24.99 at Amazon
If you're looking to stream your content in 4K resolution, Amazon has a massive 50% discount on the Fire TV Stick 4K which brings the price down to a record-low of $24.99. The best-selling Fire Stick allows you to stream your favorite content in 4K Ultra HD resolution with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Amazon Alexa for hands-free control.View Deal

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (2021): was $149.99 now $74.99 at Amazon
Amazon's Black Friday sale has the 2021 Fire HD 10 tablet on sale for a record-low price of $74.99. The 10-inch tablet packs a powerful octa-core processor and 50% more RAM than the previous generation. The tablet also works with Amazon Alexa and provides an impressive 12 hours of battery life.View Deal

Amazon Fire 7 tablet (16GB): was $49.99 now $39.99 at Amazon
The cheapest Fire tablet deal, Amazon's Black Friday device deals include the 2022 Fire 7 on sale for just $39.99 - a new record-low. The best-selling tablet features a seven-inch display, 16GB of RAM, and up to seven hours of battery life.View Deal

Kindle Paperwhite: was $149.99 now $99.99 at Amazon
The 2022 Kindle Paperwhite is on my Christmas wish list and Amazon is offering a first-time $50 discount on the e-reader, bringing the price down to a record low of  $99.99. The waterproof Kindle features a six-inch glare-free display and provides a single battery charge that lasts for weeks.View Deal

Amazon Echo Show 10: was $249.99 now $169.99 at Amazon
If you want to get your hands on Amazon's latest and greatest smart display, today's early Black Friday deal drops the Echo Show 10 to a record-low price of $169.99. The 10-inch smart display features an automatic screen rotation, Zigbee smart home support, and a 13MP camera.View Deal

Ring Video Doorbell Pro: was $169.99 now $99.99 at Amazon
Amazon's early Black Friday deals just dropped the best-selling Ring Video Doorbell Pro on sale for $99.99 - the lowest price we've ever seen. The Ring Pro features advanced motion detection and works with Amazon Alexa to send alerts to your Echo devices.View Deal

Instant Pots still hot

We know a lot of the holiday buying heat now revolves around Air Fryers, but Instant Pots remain an excellent gift-giving choice. They're easily as versatile as Air Fryers just without all the excitement of oil-free-crisping.

The other thing worth noting is that Black Friday Deals keep on rolling right into Cyber Monday. These two Instant Pot options are not officially listed as Cyber Monday deals on Amazon, but they certainly are Cyber Weekend ones.

There's the classic 10-in-1 model for just $99.99 and an Instant Pot with, you guessed it, air fryer capabilities for $169.95. They're both solid deals that might be around through Monday or could evaporate at any minute. You might have to move fast.

Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker: was $169.99 now $99.95 at Amazon
Instant Pots are always Black Friday best-sellers and Amazon's early Black Friday sale has the Instant Pot Pro on sale for $99.95 - Just $20 more than the record-low. The six-quart pressure cooker features 10 appliances in one, including; slow cook, sous vide, sauté pan, rice, sterilizer, yogurt maker, food warmer, cake baker, and steamerView Deal

Instant Pot Pro Crisp 8qt: was $269.99 now $169.95 at Amazon
What's better than an Instant Pot multi-cooker? Well, one that also has air fryer capabilities, of course. Getting a lofty 4.5 out of 5 star rating in our Instant Pot Pro Crisp review, this is definitely a must get for every kitchen, especially those that have limited space. The 8-quart model is $100 off right now.View Deal

Amazon Blink outdoor camera doorbell

(Image credit: Amazon Blink)

Don't Blink

Earlier tonight we had our first "ring and run" in ages. Some teenagers scrambled to our front door, knocked, and then dashed off. We missed them, but our video doorbell did not. 

It's hard to put a price on home security and knowing what's happening outside the front of your home when you're not there, or knowing who is standing there and knocking on your door (or running away). People still do silly things at other people's front doors but now we have a record because of all these video doorbells. 

This Blink Video Doorbell, which has a motion detector and a camera, was on sale for Black Friday and Amazon is letting the good times toll with the $34.99 sale (was $49.99) still in place and now listed as a Cyber Monday Deal.

One nice thing about this model is that it can be wire-free (battery-operated), which makes for super-easy installation. You can hook it up to existing wiring if you want.

Blink Video Doorbell: was $49.99 now $34.99 at Amazon
Get the top-rated Blink Video Doorbell on sale for just $34.99 in today's early Black Friday deals - the lowest price we've ever seen. The Blink doorbell alerts you when motion is detected and features infrared night video and two-way audio.View Deal

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The iPhone 15 Pro could get solid-state volume and power buttons

The iPhone 15 is still a long way off, but we've already heard numerous rumors about it. New to the pile is an analyst prediction that the Pro models are going to get solid-state, haptic buttons that don't physically move and sit flush with the body of the phones.

That's as per Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley, based in part on comments made by Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth (via MacRumors). Cirrus Logic already supplies some of the haptic technology that is in the current iPhones.

The company has mentioned new components coming to market in the second half of next year, which coincidentally is when Apple is going to be bringing out new iPhones, and... well, you can see why people are joining the dots.

Click or twist

These buttons use vibrations to simulate the sensation of them being touched, even though they don't actually move – see also the trackpads on newer MacBook models, and the home buttons on the recent iPhone SE phones.

This backs up a prediction we heard from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, back in October. He also thinks the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (if that's indeed what they are called) will go without physical buttons, though they'll still be attached to the cheaper iPhone 15 models apparently.

We should find out for sure in September 2023. Going with solid-state buttons would improve water resistance and reduce the chance of mechanical failure, though you don't of course get quite such a satisfying click feeling (at least in our opinion).

Analysis: Pro goes Pro-er

For the last couple of years we've seen Apple adding more and more features to the Pro-level iPhones to make them the more appealing options – and with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, they actually had a faster processor for the first time.

It would appear that this trend is going to continue next year, which is something that we've been hearing for a while. It pushes consumers towards the more expensive models, and means the standard editions can be produced more cheaply.

Previous rumors suggest that we're looking at a jump to 8GB of RAM for the iPhone 15 Pro next year, as well as a periscope camera. There will of course be a brand new processor as well, most probably the A17 Bionic (while the A16 goes into the standard iPhone 15).

There's also been talk of an iPhone 15 Ultra, which may replace the iPhone 14 Pro Max in next year's line-up. This would differentiate the available models even further – and would no doubt come with a hefty price attached to it.

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The Samsung Galaxy S23 could have satellite communications and a super bright screen

We’re likely just a few months away from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 line, but as usual many of the new features and improvements might be rumored before launch, with two potential upgrades having just been leaked.

First up, there’s the potential for the Samsung Galaxy S23 line to support satellite communications in some form. This comes from a report on ETNews, which states that Samsung is working with Iridium - a global satellite communications company – to provide this functionality on the Galaxy S23 line.

While Iridium is capable of providing voice and data communication services, Samsung will reportedly be limiting the S23’s satellite skills to text messages and small images, due to only being able to put a small antenna in a phone.

That might sound restrictive, but it should be enough to help you reach out to contacts or the emergency services in situations where there’s no cell signal.

Today’s other Samsung Galaxy S23 leak relates specifically to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will reportedly have a screen that can reach up to 2,150 nits of brightness – or maybe even higher.

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The source of this is @RGcloudS, who made the claim on Twitter (spotted by SamMobile), but noted that the max brightness might be slightly different at launch – potentially even topping 2,200 nits – due to further adjustments.

For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra tops out at 1,750 nits of brightness, so this would be an upgrade, which could be beneficial for helping you clearly see the screen in bright sunlight. We would however take this with a pinch of salt, especially as the source doesn’t have much of a track record yet.

Analysis: matching and beating the iPhone 14 Pro Max

The brightest smartphone screen on the planet currently is the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s, which can reach 2,000 nits, so if this leak is right then Samsung will beat Apple and take the new record.

But Samsung will also be competing with Apple if its upcoming phones support satellite communications, as right now the iPhone 14 line is among a very small number of handsets that have this functionality.

However, questions remain over how Samsung’s implementation will compare to Apple’s – if it happens at all – and which will be better.

On the iPhone 14 series, you’re limited to contacting the emergency services, and the feature is currently only available in the US and Canada. So it remains to be seen whether Samsung will allow more general satellite communications, and what parts of the world its service will be available in.

Still, it’s good to see more companies explore this idea, because it’s a potentially life-saving feature, and one that we’d hope to see on most of the best phones in the next few years.

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Vivo’s new phone is the first to use the superpowered Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

If you’re looking for a new phone and your focus is power, then the newly announced Vivo X90 Pro Plus could be the handset for you, as it’s the first phone to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

This flagship chipset is expected to power many of 2023’s top Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S23 and the OnePlus 11, but Vivo looks to have gotten there first.

That’s not even the only major selling point of the Vivo X90 Pro Plus though, as the phone also has a 50MP camera that uses a massive 1-inch sensor. While this isn’t the first phone to use this sensor, it’s larger than what you’ll find in most smartphones, and photos could potentially also be better as a result.

That’s joined by a 48MP ultra-wide camera, a 50MP telephoto camera offering 2x optical zoom, and a 64MP telephoto camera with 3.5x optical zoom.

A Vivo X90 Pro Plus from the back

(Image credit: Vivo)

Other specs include 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and a 6.78-inch 1440 x 3200 AMOLED screen, with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone also has a 4,700mAh battery, with rapid 80W wired charging and impressively quick 50W wireless, and it’s protected against dust and water, as it has achieved an IP68 certification.

It’s been launched in China, alongside the less interesting Vivo X90 and Vivo X90 Pro. These phones have a few differences to the Pro Plus, with the most significant one being that they use MediaTek's latest Dimensity 9200 chipset instead of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It's still thought to be powerful silicon, but it’s unlikely to match the Snapdragon.

Actually buying any of these phones could prove easier said than done, as they’ve so far only been launched in China, where the Vivo X90 Pro Plus starts at ¥6,499 (around $910 / £760 / AU$1,365).

There’s no word on if or when they’ll be sold more widely, but there’s a fair chance that at least some of them will eventually be sold in the UK, given that the Vivo X80 Pro is available there. An Australian launch is possible too, but the US is unlikely, as Vivo doesn’t have much presence there.

A model of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in a perspex disc in-hand at the Snapdragon Summit 2022 in Hawaii

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

Analysis: the first of many Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones

There’s no need to wait for the Vivo X90 Pro Plus to go on sale globally, because before long there will be lots of other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones to choose from.

As noted above, the Samsung Galaxy S23 line will probably use this chipset, and the OnePlus 11 definitely will, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We already know that one or more phones in the Oppo Find X6 and iQoo 11 lines will use the 8 Gen 2, and it’s looking very likely that the Sony Xperia 1 V, Xiaomi 13 range, Motorola's Moto X40, Nubia's Red Magic 8, and more will use it too.

In short, if you buy any of the best upcoming phones that aren’t made by Apple, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the chipset they're most likely to have. As such, this standout feature of the Vivo X90 Pro Plus is only a limited-time exclusive and one that will likely soon be commonplace, much to the benefit of consumers looking for the most capable new phones.

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The iPhone 15 might get a premium makeover

The iPhone 14 line could hardly be accused of not looking and feeling high-end, but for the iPhone 15 line Apple might make its phones even more premium.

That’s according to leaker ShrimpApplePro (via Phone Arena), who tweeted that the iPhone 15 will have titanium sides. That’s a premium material that’s more expensive than the aluminum used by the iPhone 14, or even the stainless steel used by the iPhone 14 Pro.

But that’s not all, the source also claims that the back edge of the sides will be rounded, so the frame will curve into the rear of the phone, unlike current models which have more of a right-angle.

The back, meanwhile, will apparently still be glass, with ShrimpApplePro saying in a follow up tweet that 'this design will create a really beautiful edge transition from the back to the camera bump.'

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All of that said, you should certainly take this leak with a pinch of salt, as it’s very early for iPhone 15 leaks, as the source themselves points out; even they don’t sound completely confident in there own information, as a result.

We also wouldn’t expect the entire iPhone 15 line to use titanium, even if this does turn out to be true. The source simply says 'the iPhone 15', implying that this material might be used by every model, but it’s premium enough that we think that’s very unlikely.

More likely, it will just be used by the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (or iPhone 15 Ultra – as that phone might be called). In fact, it’s very possible that only the latter of those will use titanium, especially as another leaker has previously said precisely that.

Analysis: what’s so good about titanium?

Why switch to titanium at all? Well, it’s both far stronger and much lighter than stainless steel. So, Apple could theoretically both increase the durability and reduce the weight of any iPhone models that it graces a titanium frame with – a move we'd fully endorse.

However, these upsides come at a cost – literally, as titanium is also far more expensive than stainless steel, costing around $35 to $50 per kilogram, according to Aesteiron Steels, while stainless steel costs just $1 to $1.50.

As such, titanium tends to be relegated to luxury products, or things that really need it, such as aircraft parts. So, if any iPhone 15 models do use titanium, this change in material should unquestionably be seen as an upgrade, just one that’s likely to make the next generation even more expensive than the current crop of best iPhones.

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Here’s one spec where the Samsung Galaxy S23 might not get an upgrade

We're expecting the Samsung Galaxy S23 phones to bring a host of upgrades with them, from the cameras to the processors, but there is apparently one key spec that won't see an improvement: the fingerprint sensor.

Reliable leaker Ice Universe seems to have got hold of a layer of protective glass for the Galaxy S23 Ultra model, and it reveals a spot where the fingerprint sensor will be located – a spot that's the same size as it is on the Samsung Galaxy S22 handsets.

There's nothing particularly wrong with the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S22, but as Notebookcheck points out, it had been hoped that the sensor on the Galaxy S23 would be bigger and better. Now that looks unlikely to be the case.

Same old same old

Specifically, the Galaxy S22 is fitted with the capable Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, whereas it was thought that the Galaxy S23 would carry the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max – a sensor that's more accurate, more secure, and can scan two fingers at once.

Perhaps Samsung has decided that it wants to stick with the same fingerprint sensor to keep costs down, or perhaps the original rumor about a fingerprint sensor upgrade was off the mark right from the beginning – but this is one upgrade that's now looking unlikely.

You can argue that fingerprint sensors aren't the most important component on a smartphone, but bearing in mind how often we unlock our phones every day, they can have a significant impact on the user experience.

Analysis: fingerprint sensor upgrades

Head over to the official website of the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max and you'll see there are improvements in a whole host of areas. It's the largest ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor to appear so far, using soundwaves to scan fingerprints at a rapid pace and at an incredibly fine resolution.

It's much harder to spoof a fingerprint with this technology compared with standard optical fingerprint sensors, Qualcomm says. It'll scan fingerprints faster when they're wet, and because of the acoustic scanning deployed, it's more reliable when your fingers aren't perfectly clean as well.

The larger surface area makes it possible for two fingers to be scanned at once, and the sensor has a 1 in 250,000 error rate, according to its manufacturer. However, based on the leaked protective glass that we've seen appear online, we're going to have to wait until 2024 at least to see it in a Galaxy S flagship phone from Samsung.

It's not all bad news though, because the Galaxy S23 is going to bring with it several improvements over the phone that came before it. Already this week we've heard that the handset is going to carry a custom version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that provides even greater performance.

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OnePlus 11 rumored to get a ceramic finish and 16GB of RAM

The OnePlus 11 is one of the key flagship smartphones that we're expecting to launch during the course of 2023, and we've got some fresh information on what the handset might be bringing with it when it sees the light of day.

According to well-known tipster Digital Chat Station (via Pocket-lint), the OnePlus 11 is going to sport a metal frame with a ceramic body, while the RAM is getting bumped up to 16GB. The OnePlus 10 Pro topped out at 12GB of RAM.

There's apparently another upgrade on the way as well: according to the same source the OnePlus 11 will be one of the first phones to get UFS (Universal Flash Storage) 4.0 for its internal storage, offering twice the data speeds of the current UFS 3.1 technology.

Claim and counterclaim

Those would certainly be interesting and appealing upgrades for the next-generation OnePlus flagship, although we have seen ceramic before on the OnePlus X – and on several models from Oppo, the phone maker which has now merged with OnePlus.

As usual with these sorts of rumors, treat them with caution, even when the source is a reliable one (plans can change and inside information can be wrong, after all). Another tipster who often gets predictions right, tech journalist Max Jambor, says that the OnePlus 11 won't in fact appear with a ceramic body.

Jambor does agree with the UFS 4.0 rumor though, so it would seem that OnePlus is keen to pack as much cutting edge technology as it can into its next high-end product. The phone is expected to launch in the first few months of 2023.

Analysis: OnePlus in 2023

OnePlus hasn't exactly been consistent in its phone launches in recent years, what with the global pandemic and the merger with Oppo and everything else that's been going on – and that means we're not so certain about what's coming in 2023.

Through the course of 2022, we've had the OnePlus 10 Pro, the OnePlus 10T, the OnePlus Nord 2T, and the OnePlus Nord CE 2. As you can see from that list, the emphasis has been on mid-range phones, with only the OnePlus 10 Pro counting as an actual flagship.

There was never a standard OnePlus 10, for reasons that we're not all that clear on. Perhaps OnePlus felt the Pro moniker carried greater weight, or perhaps it felt that its phone launch calendar was already too crowded for this year.

In 2023, the situation might be reversed: we'll get a OnePlus 11 but not a OnePlus 11 Pro next year, according to our friend Max Jambor again, though the 'standard' phone will apparently have the 'pro' components fitted inside it.

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The Samsung Galaxy S23 could have the best chipset of any 2023 Android phone

We’ve been hearing for a while that Samsung will reportedly use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset globally in the Galaxy S23 line, which was already good news for reasons we’ll get into below. But now it looks like the company might go one better, and equip these phones with an exclusive, even more powerful variant of the chipset.

That’s according to @UniverseIce – a leaker with a solid track record – who’s done some digging and found various pieces of evidence to support this claim.

First, they posted a screenshot from a benchmark for the Samsung Galaxy S23, showing a clock speed of up to 3.36GHz – which is higher than the 3.2GHz speeds the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 typically offers. Next, they claimed that multiple different model numbers exist for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Finally they claimed to have “confirmed” that the Samsung Galaxy S23 will use a high-frequency version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that’s exclusive to Samsung.

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Interestingly, they say this chip will be used in the European version of the Samsung Galaxy S23 line, so it’s not clear whether the same supercharged chipset will be used in the rest of the world or not.

But in Europe at least, the Galaxy S23 and its siblings could be the most powerful Android phones on the planet – though as ever we’d take this claim with a pinch of salt for now.

Analysis: making the best chipset better

If the Samsung Galaxy S23 line really does have exclusive access to a better version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, then it’s unlikely that any other 2023 Android phone will be able to match these handsets. Typically the top Snapdragon chipset of a given year is the best chipset available to Android phones, and there’s no sign that 2023 will be any different.

That’s why it’s good news that Samsung will reportedly be offering Snapdragon chipsets globally, rather than shipping the phones with its own Exynos chipsets in some regions as it's done in the past – and if it’s using an even better version of that chipset, then that’s even better news.

Hopefully, that better version will be offered globally, but if it is limited to Europe then that would perhaps be fitting, as historically Europe has been among the regions that were lumbered with inferior Exynos chipsets.

Of course, this will all be bad news for the other manufactures launching new phones in 2023, as Samsung already outsells other Android handset makers, and its devices are permanent fixtures in our best phones rankings – and having a superior chipset could just extend the company’s lead.

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iPhone 15 Pro could get USB-C and offer vastly higher data transfer speeds

We’ve known for a while that Apple will be switching to USB-C for future iPhones, but we don’t know for sure if that change will happen in time for the iPhone 15. Now though, a reputable source has said that it will, and that this switch will also lead to higher data transfer speeds – at least for some models.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo – an analyst with a good track record for Apple information – the entire iPhone 15 line will have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. However, Kuo claims that only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will take advantage of the extra speed potential of USB-C.

Those two phones will reportedly support either USB-C 3.2 data transfer speeds, which can reach 20Gbps, or Thunderbolt 3 speeds, which can get as high as 40Gbps.

The standard iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Max, though, will apparently be stuck at USB 2.0 speeds of just 480Mbps, which is the same as Lightning. So if Kuo is right, one of the main advantages of switching to USB-C will be reserved for the pricier Pro models.

As ever with leaks, we’d take this with a pinch of salt, but speed aside, a switch to USB-C looks likely. The EU has mandated that Apple must make the change by 2024, and Apple itself has confirmed that it intends to comply. So it’s just a question of timing, but there seems little point in Apple delaying, and Kuo is a credible source.

The varying data transfer speeds is something we’re less sure of, but it would make sense as another way to differentiate the top-end iPhones from the lower-end models, and Apple has taken a similar approach with its various iPad lines.

The Lightning port on an iPhone 12 Pro Max

The Lightning port on an iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image credit: TechRadar)

Analysis: pro-level speeds for Pro devices

Increasing the data transfer speed from 480Mbps to 20Gbps or 40Gbps might sound like overkill, and for a lot of people it will be. But these massively higher speeds would be extremely useful for some users in particular cases.

One key example is 4K video. Current iPhones are capable of shooting in 4K, but the file sizes that 4K footage produce can mean it takes a long, long time to transfer the footage from your phone to your computer or other device.

If you’re a mobile movie maker who captures a lot of footage, then the problem becomes even bigger. Of course, not everyone will be doing that, but there are lots of other types of large file that you might want to transfer, and whatever you’re transferring, that extra speed will enable you to do it a whole lot faster.

For more typical users, though, the slower speeds of USB 2.0 should still be adequate, so this upgrade won’t necessarily be a reason to shell out on one of the very best iPhones.

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The iPhone 14 Pro’s most flawed feature is about to get better

Along with the Dynamic Island and a 48MP camera, one of the biggest new features offered by the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max was an always-on display, yet Apple’s implementation of the feature has proved controversial. Soon though, there could be a solution for those who want an always-on display, but not in the way Apple initially offered it.

Apple’s current always-on display implementation basically just dims the lock screen – but it’s still in color, and it still shows everything, which isn’t to everyone’s tastes. We’ll get more into why that is further down, but the big news is that the iOS 16.2 beta 3 includes an option to customize the always-on display.

Now, rather than simply having it on or off, there are two additional toggles – one to choose whether or not to show the wallpaper, and one that lets you choose whether or not to show notifications.

If you disable both of those, then – as spotted by 9to5Mac – the always-on display will just show the time and your lock screen widgets against a black background, making for an appearance that’s much more like the always-on displays found on Android phones. It’s also the sort of implementation that those who are unhappy with the current version have been crying out for.

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You can see how this looks in the tweet above, from Chance Miller, the editor-in-chief of 9to5Mac. Of course, some people actually like Apple’s current implementation, but the version found in this beta lets you have either version, so no one is going to miss out.

That said, as with any beta software there’s always the caveat that this feature might not make it to the final release, but we’d think it’s likely to – and with iOS 16.2 probably rolling out before the end of the year, we shouldn’t have long to wait.

Analysis: too much, too bright, and too much battery drain

The issues people have with Apple’s current version of an always-on display are numerous, but one of the main problems is that at a glance, or out of the corner of your eye, it can look like the screen is on – which is a tell-tale sign that a new notification has arrived and might need attention.

That, of course, is annoying, and a screen filled with notifications and other data – as the always-on display often can be – is also more than some people feel they need from the feature.

Plus, by showing the full lock screen, even dimmed, Apple’s always-on display can be a noticeable drain on the battery. Whether the new version in the iOS 16.2 beta is less battery-hungry remains to be seen, but it seems likely.

So, along with the recent launch of Apple’s Emergency SOS feature, this update should make the day-to-day experience of using the best iPhones even better.

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Oppo showcases mobile gaming with ray tracing on the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – Qualcomm's new top-tier mobile chip, destined for the next wave of flagship Android smartphones – made its debut during the company's annual Snapdragon Summit on November 15, showcasing a host of impressive new technologies.

While some head-turning AI and camera features punctuated the chipset's unveiling, one other notable upgrade centered around mobile gaming; with a major visual quality improvement inbound; led by the addition of hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

In a nutshell, ray tracing adds greater physical accuracy to how light behaves in the game world. Although resource intensive, it promises a significant jump in graphical fidelity by improving elements like reflections, global illumination, shadows and ambient occlusion, resulting in more realistic and immersive visuals.

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Oppo x Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ray tracing press image cover

(Image credit: Oppo)
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Oppo x Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ray tracing press image reflections

(Image credit: Oppo)
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Oppo x Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ray tracing press image global illumination

(Image credit: Oppo)
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Oppo x Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ray tracing press image refractions

(Image credit: Oppo)

This technology, once reserved for the best graphics cards on the market, subsequently trickled down to the latest games consoles and has now found a home on mobile.

In truth, Samsung's Exynos 2200 – introduced in early 2022 – was the first mobile chip to support the technology, but less than a year on, Qualcomm hasn't just implemented ray tracing to catch up but brought with it a number of partners committed to capitalizing on the availability of this new graphical enhancement.

Behemoth publishers like Tencent add credibility to the technology's wider adoption and success on mobile, while Qualcomm already has a host of hardware partners looking to leverage ray tracing in their own ways too.

Brands including Asus, Black Shark, OnePlus, Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi all got a mention, but it was Oppo who was keen to actively show its commitment to the 8 Gen 2 and its hardware-accelerated ray tracing during day one of the Summit.

Oppo's SVP and CPO, Pete Lau appeared on video during the presentation, explicitly calling out his excitement for the 'next level gaming' experiences that 8 Gen 2 promises to deliver but the company didn't stop there, bringing principal manager of graphics products, Jane Tian out on stage.

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Oppo's Jane Tian on stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)
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Oppo's Jane Tian on stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022 up close

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)
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Oppo's Jane Tian on stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022, talking about Oppo's 8 Gen 2 ray tracing tests

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)
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Oppo's Jane Tian on stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022, talking about the PhysRay SDK slide 2

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)
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Oppo's Jane Tian on stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022, talking about the PhysRay SDK

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

She spoke in greater depth about the results Oppo is already seeing with its sustained ray tracing performance tests on 8 Gen 2, which compared to its previous software-only ray tracing, is reportedly five times more efficient while placing 90% less workload on the CPU.

The company's history with ray tracing on mobile has actually led them to create an open source mobile ray tracing developer kit – named the PhysRay SDK – that should help developers with aspects like software and hardware compatibility and optimisation for ray tracing between difference device configurations.

The mobile ray tracing demos shown on stage accentuated the benefits that the technology is intended to bring to mobile graphics but the results speak for themselves, leaving us to wonder how soon after the first 8 Gen 2-powered phones hit the market, will we see games putting the chipset's Adreno GPU and its new star feature to work.

Oppo is, understandably, on the list of companies committed to launching 8 Gen 2-powered devices in the near future and that it'll come packing inside whatever the next entry in its Find X flagship phone series is to be called (our money's on the Oppo Find X6).

In the meantime, check out our rundown of the best gaming phones currently available, even if it's just to know which brands to keep an eye on, come the release of their 8 Gen 2-toting devices.

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How to demo Emergency SOS via satellite on your iPhone right now

Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 feature that lets the phone connect to satellites for emergency services, has finally gone live, fulfilling Apple’s launch promise. The service is available first in the US and Canada, and users can try a demo of the service on their iPhone without actually engaging a costly rescue. 

If you’d like to try a demonstration of the Emergency SOS service for yourself, your iPhone 14 family device can show you how it works. Go to your Settings, then scroll down to the Emergency SOS menu. 

At the bottom of this menu, you should see the “Emergency SOS via Satellite” paragraph. You can click the “Try Demo” link to start the demo process. For the demo, the iPhone will actually shut down your cellular service as it searches the sky for an available satellite. 

Here's what happens when you need it

Our Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff got outdoors and tried the Emergency SOS via satellite as it went live. From our New York City skyscraper offices we could not get a clear view of the satellite, which is fine because we don’t need it. The Emergency SOS feature is really only preferable when you have no cell service available. Apple says that if you can make a voice call or connect to a data network, you should do that instead. 

The Emergency SOS service is very slow, taking up to a minute or more to send a text message to space. It relies on prewritten scripts that help you report your emergency in a hurry without needing to send too much data. 

Emergency SOS via satellite demo screenshots

The Emergency SOS demo is available in Settings (Image credit: Future)

The first question will ask what sort of emergency you’re having, offering you a choice between a vehicle issue, sickness or injury, a fire, or being lost or trapped. If you choose a vehicle issue, for instance, it will ask you further questions about how many people were involved, the current environment, and anything that will help rescuers prepare to save you.

While you are handling the communication, the iPhone will track the satellite and give you guidance about where to face. It will tell you to turn left or right if it needs a better signal or to find a new satellite.

Your emergency broadcast will be sent through Apple’s own service, and Apple can talk to emergency providers whether or not they are capable of receiving text messages and the digital information the iPhone provides. Apple is acting as an intermediary, it isn’t just making a direct connection between your phone and emergency providers.

That satellite is very, very far away

If you thought your iPhone was already talking to a satellite every time you make a call, you’re quite a few miles off. Your average cell phone tower is at most a few miles away. The theoretical maximum for cell reception is around 45 miles, but in truth carriers place towers to make sure you have access to a few within miles of wherever you are. 

The satellite used by the iPhone for Emergency SOS is 850 miles above the earth. It’s a tiny target in space, which is why the iPhone helps you aim at the proper location in the sky and follow the path of the satellite through the duration of your session. 

Apple iPhone 14 lock screen

The Emergency satellite works with all iPhone 14 phones (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Of note, Apple says that all of the data sent during an Emergency SOS session is fully encrypted on both ends. Even if you use Emergency SOS to update the Find My feature on your devices with your current location, the location data is kept private.

For at least the first two years, Apple says the service will be free to owners with an eligible device, including the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The service is live now in the US and Canada and will come to the UK, Ireland, Germany and France by the end of the year.

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Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 announced: All the killer features it’s bringing to your next phone

Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit is the chip maker's opportunity to showcase its latest silicon and the advancements its technologies are bringing to the next wave of devices and experiences across mobile, automative, audio, mixed reality and more.

As part of the proceedings, it's also the place where the company's next flagship mobile chip usually makes its debut too (the one likely to likely to power the next wave of the best Android phones coming up) and, sure enough, on November 15, the highlight of day one of the Summit was the unveiling of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Editor's note

Flights and accommodation for this launch event were funded by Qualcomm, but the views reflect the writer's own independent opinion.

Those following Qualcomm's current mobile chipset naming convention might have already guessed that – after the departure from a triple-digit system the year prior – the successor to 2021's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was going to be the 8 Gen 2, and now that's been galvanized.

For those familiar, the underlying CPU architecture (a 'prime' core, supported by three performance cores and four efficiency cores) may not seem like a notable departure against its predecessor, but Qualcomm has made a myriad of tweaks across its latest and greatest mobile SoC (system on chip) that bring significant improvements to key aspects of the mobile computing experience; like AI processing, gaming fidelity, image processing, connectivity and power efficiency.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Qualcomm's new flagship mobile chipset
  • When does the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 launch? Consumers will likely get their hands on smartphones powered by the 8 Gen 2 as early as December 2022, but the majority of devices that use the chip will arrive in the first half of 2023.
  • How much does the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 cost? Qualcomm is selling the 8 Gen 2 direct to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) – like Motorola, OnePlus and Xiaomi – so end-consumers only pay for the silicon as part of the total cost of the smartphones using it. As the top of the latest generation of the company's Snapdragon line, it'll power devices that, at least at first, demand flagship prices; probably in the region of $800 / £700 / AU$1,200 and up.

So, what are the most noteworthy improvements that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings to the table, and why should you care enough to actually want to upgrade to a phone using it?

Cameras that understand what they're looking at

One of the most exciting improvements set to offer some of the most tangible benefits to users is the 8 Gen 2's 'Cognitive ISP'.

What Qualcomm is calling a 'world-first', this generation's Spectra ISP (image signal processor) takes the existing image segmentation of its predecessor but brings in the added benefit of real-time processing. This means your device's camera will be able to distinguish the sky from the ground, your cat from the freshly-made bed its decided to get comfy on or the flower amid the background foliage and, at a pixel-level, apply color, tone, sharpness and noise reduction algorithms to get the best final shot.

The real kicker is that it can apply this level of real-time processing to both stills and video, and even show a more accurate end-result image on the viewfinder during capture with minimal lag. So you know that what you see and what you'll get after you press the shutter or record, will more directly reflect one another.

A feature that'll undoubtedly help the next wave of the best camera phones stand out from the non-8 Gen 2-powered competition.

Better gaming visuals, including ray tracing

In 2021, one key area where Samsung's own Exynos 2200 chip stood apart from its like-minded rival – the 8 Gen 1 – was the inclusion of support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing (expect better visuals in gaming, punctuated by accurate reflections, soft shadows and ambient occlusion).

Naturally, Qualcomm was keen to address that with its next follow-up and sure enough, the 8 Gen 2, commits to delivering hardware-accelerated ray tracing on mobile; with confirmed partners, like maker of some of the best gaming phones around – Red Magic, and supported titles such as War Thunder.

The Adreno GPU at work on the 8 Gen 2 promises 25% faster performance, while also delivering up to 45% greater power efficiency, along with newfound support for Vulkan 1.3, the Chinese 'HDR Vivid' standard and a feature called OLED ageing compensation too.

More simultaneous AI tasks, while using less power

AI (yes, artificial intelligence) has been the rising star in mobile computing over the last few years and that trend continues upwards with the 8 Gen 2.

Although every major element of the SoC already leverages AI to some degree, this generation's dedicated Hexagon Processor offers a revised toolset (including a Tensor accelerator that's doubled in size) set to deliver some significant gains.

Qualcomm promises a 4.35x speed increase when performing AI-based tasks, thanks – in part – to the fact that the 8 Gen 2 is the first of its kind to leverage something called INT4 (integer 4) precision; allowing for 60% more AI-based tasks to be performed concurrently per watt.

Through what can only be arcane wizardry, Qualcomm is able to scale 32-bit processes down to 4-bit without compromising the quality of the data sets being processed, which the company's Ziad Asghar – VP of Product Management at Qualcomm – told TechRadar, amounts to a 64x power reduction.

Upgraded always-on Sensing Hub

Modern phones can already help us transpose the analogue world into digital; with features like semantic text recognition and object recognition, but the Sensing Hub inside the 8 Gen 2 has been purpose-built to help with such tasks; boasting two AI processing cores for up to double the AI performance compared to 8 Gen 1, along with 50% more memory than previously.

The Sensing Hub supports an 'always-sensing camera' (a rewording from last-generation's 'always-on camera'), that's great for everything from QR code scanning to face proximity detection, facial recognition and even eye-tracking – all without having to actively open your device's camera app.

Asghar confirmed to TechRadar that multiple OEM partners have been particularly interested in this aspect of the Sensing Hub, suggesting the next wave of phones powered by the 8 Gen 2 may well have the ability to scan and action QR codes and the like without even needing to be woken up or for particular apps to be opened to interact with them.

Despite its always-on nature, Qualcomm also states that the data processed by the Sensing Hub doesn't leave your device.

Even faster and more flexible 5G and WiFi

Packing the Snapdragon X70 5G modem, the 8 Gen 2 not only supports up to 10Gbps down and 3.5Gbps up over 5G, but it's the first on the scene to boast DSDA (Dual SIM Dual Active) for two 5G SIMs, simultaneously and also boasts its own AI processor to optimize cellular performance and power.

As before, mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, along with standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes ate all supported.

What's more – even though WiFi 6E feels like it's barely out the door – the FastConnect 7800 inside the 8 Gen 2 renders it one of the first pieces of consumer silicon to support WiFi 7 bandwidth and speeds; only losing out to MediaTek's new Dimensity 9200 chipset, which was announced just days earlier.

With the increasing popularity of video streaming at higher and higher fidelities and bit rates, along with growing interest in cloud gaming and competitive mobile gaming, these upgrades are essential to allow those experiences to continue evolving.

Which phones will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Although Oppo is the first company to confirm that its next Find X-branded flagship Android phone (assumed to the Oppo Find X6 series) will run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, (despite no launch date having yet been confirmed). Qualcomm detailed a number of partners at the chip's unveiling.

Asus, Honor, Motorola OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE and more have all committed to delivering 8 Gen 2-powered devices in the near future, however, who'll be first remains to be seen.

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Google Pixel Fold leak shows promising cameras but an underwhelming design

We’re used to details of upcoming phones leaking, but lately Google's handsets seem to be getting leaked in detail long before launch, with the Pixel Fold being the latest example.

We’ve heard a number of Google Pixel Fold rumors over the last few months, but now high-quality renders have emerged that purport to show the likely design in full.

These were shared by YouTube channel FrontPageTech, which has a reasonable track record, and while they’re not official renders, they were apparently created based on images and other information supplied by the channel's sources.

In most respects these renders look very much how you might expect a foldable Pixel to. There’s a large camera block on the back, similar to the one on Pixel 7, and a non-foldable secondary screen with a punch-hole camera, such that when this device is folded shut it looks a bit like a more chunky Pixel 7.

An unofficial render of the Google Pixel Fold

(Image credit: FrontPageTech)

Unfold it and you’re greeted with a much larger foldable display, but unlike its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the foldable screen here doesn’t have a punch-hole camera. Instead, there are surprisingly large bezels above and below the display, with one of them housing a selfie camera.

Other details shared here are that the cameras on both screens are apparently 9.5MP, the phone is clad in metal and glass, it supports 5G, and it will come in just white and black shades.

There’s apparently a fingerprint sensor built into in the power button, and speakers on the top and bottom edges. While the name of this phone is supposedly yet to be confirmed, FrontPageTech's sources say it’s internally being referred to as the Pixel Fold, and it sounds as though this is likely to be the release name too.

If you’re interested in buying the Google Pixel Fold, you’ll apparently be able to do so from May – but you might want to start saving up, as the phone will reportedly cost $1,799 (around £1,520 / AU$2,660). That price isn't too surprising though, as it’s the same price at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, at least in the US.

As usual, we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt, but prolific leaker Jon Prosser, who's the face and voice of FrontPageTech, claims to be “very, very confident in this information.”

An unofficial render of the Google Pixel Fold

(Image credit: FrontPageTech)

Analysis: a camera coup, but the design needs work

If this leak is accurate then it’s a mix of promising and not-so-promising information. 

On the promising front, there are the cameras. There appear to be three of them on the back, much like on the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Given that the camera bar looks similarly large too, it’s entirely possible that the same selection of sensors and lenses are used here – and that would be excellent news, as the Pixel 7 Pro has great cameras, and it's an area where most foldables come up short.

But while the cameras could be strong, the design is less impressive. When the phone is folded shut it looks good – if rather chunky, something that's not helped by the substantial camera bar. When it's open, however, it looks a little cheap, given the large bezels above and below the display.

On top of that, the sources behind this leak claim the phone very heavy. They don’t get more specific than that, but if it’s significantly heavier than rival foldables then that could be a problem.

With Google reportedly pricing its foldable in line with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold line, the Pixel Fold will need to make a strong impression to compete – and right now it looks like more of a mixed bag. Still, if the cameras impress then that could be enough to see this device ranking among the best foldable phones.

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New Galaxy S23 Ultra leak compares camera quality with the Pixel 7 Pro

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There's a fresh Samsung Galaxy S23 leak to report on: and this time an image purportedly taken with the S23 Ultra has been compared to similar snaps shot on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

This comes from well-known tipster Ice Universe (via Notebookcheck), who initially posted a series of three zoomed-in pumpkin photos without naming the phones involved, asking for votes as to which of the pictures was the best.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra won the vote, beating out this year's Ultra edition and Google's latest flagship – but you can decide for yourself which you prefer. The shot apparently taken by a Galaxy S23 Ultra phone certainly looks the most detailed and vibrant.

Camera specs

We've previously seen another photo from the same leaker that is supposedly from the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, so it looks as though Ice Universe may have got hold of a unit in advance – the handset isn't expected to launch until February 2023.

That means Samsung still has plenty of time to tweak the photo optimization algorithms on the S23 phones, and make sure that pictures and videos are looking the best that they can possibly be (indeed, this usually carries on after a phone's release too).

We're expecting the Ultra edition of the Galaxy S23 to come with a triple-lens rear camera that's not massively different from the one on the Galaxy S22 Ultra – though there is talk that the low light photo capabilities will be significantly upgraded.

Analysis: cameras keep on improving

The best handsets of 2022 – including the iPhone 14 Pro and the Google Pixel 7 Pro – can take fantastic photos, images of a quality that you would scarcely have believed back when cameras were attached to the back of smartphones for the first time.

However, these cameras just keep on getting better, and that's down to improvements in two areas: the hardware (the actual sensors fitted inside the phones) and the software (how the phone interprets and processes the information it gets from the cameras).

It's Google that's perhaps best known for the way its algorithms can create brilliant-looking snaps even with camera sensors that aren't top end, but other phone makers are busy improving their core code too, including Samsung.

That's why we'll have to reserve judgment on the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera until we can actually test it – the camera specs alone won't tell us the full story, even if the main sensor gets a major bump up to the 100MP mark.

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